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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  September 13, 2017 3:00am-3:33am PDT

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manslaughter charges in connection with the fire that killed 36 people. >> that does it for us on a wednesday morning. "morning joe" starts right now. ♪ good morning. welcome to "morning joe." it is wednesday, september 13th. >> let's get to the news right away. willie geist, 22-0. >> cleveland indians have won 20 baseball games in a row. >> they are one away from the record. >> mika told me they tied the american league record and she knows that from the oakland a's record in 2002. they approached the national league record soon. i think the new york giants a hundred years ago won 26 in a row but a tie in there and it's a weird record. any way. incredible season for the indians. >> all right. along with joe, willie, and me. >> the dodgers won last night.
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>> we have senior political analyst and msnbc and msnbc mark halpern and on the hill is kasie hunt. former treasury official and "morning joe" economic steve rattner. >> man of the golden charge. >> white house reporter for the associated press, jonathan is here with us. first to the cleanup which continues this morning across the southeastern united states in the wake of hurricane irma. president trump and first lady melania trump expected to travel to florida tomorrow see the damage firsthand. 54 deaths have been blamed on irma and 12 in florida and 5 million homes remain without electricity. the battered florida keys there is a stubborn riesilience among the people. fema estimate 1 in 4 homes have been destroyed by the home and
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the number climbs to 90% in homes damaged. getting power back take a month with 200 utility poles alone that broke and littered streets and waterways alike and those are people's entire businesses. it could take a week for historic floodwaters to recede. the local sheriff's office says their department has rescued more than 350 people but the worst damage is being seen in the caribbean where the storm wiped out homes and leaving thousands desperate for food, water, and other supplies. france's president macron visited a island left in tattered and take three months for water distribution to go back to normal. we will go live to the reporters on the ground in the florida keys and the u.s. virgin irleds
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coming up in the show. >> >> i've lived through quite a few storms. what people don't understand, after the hurricane, you've got the damage. you don't have supplies and usually for some reason, sweltering heat always comes in behind it. >> conditions are bad. >> you don't have air-conditioning and you don't have water. some plays in the caribbean don't have the infrastructure we have in the united states as far as the government setting it up. if it's run well, like it was run well at least when i lived in florida and jeb bush was governor, giving your mres and getting water and diapers for children and getting all of the basic essentials even, believe it or not, because so many people wandering outside, sunscreen and something we saw early in the early days post-katrina in mississippi and louisiana when fema wasn't stepping up and doing what they were doing.
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a lot of people walking around just basic necessities. here in the united states, you know, we were bringing over diapers, bottles of water, bringing over just basics, sunscreen. if that was happening in the united states back in 2005, imagine what is happening roigh now in the caribbean. the situation is awful. >> the security issue as well. desperation leads to horrible events. >> it is also a disease issue too as you look at some of these pictures and people wandering through the waters and concerned. willie, you also, though, look what is happening at least in florida, in texas. it certainly looks like there is most repeat of what happened with katrina in 2005 where you had a failure in a local, state be and national level. it seems like moves state governments have been responsive enough that we haven't heard a lot of horror stories.
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>> we were on the air monday morning in real-time. the sun was coming up after the storm. we talked to governors, we talked to senators and city councilmen and mayors and they were not celebrating but they said the coordinated preparation and coordinated response they were feeling from fema at the state and legal level was night and day. totally different from what they had seen in the past and pretty happy with the effort but doesn't mean a huge job in front of it and lives have been changed but a better job this time than in yeast pennsylvania. >> communities will be change forever. let's hope that the recovery comes much faster than what we are hearing now in three, six months. >> let's turn to politics now. president trump has another bipartisan meeting today as he seeks to cut deals on tax reform and more. last night, trio of red state
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democratic senators, heidi heitkamp of north carolina and joe donnalley and joe manchin were there. the democrats each released hopeful statements after the dinner describing it as good and productive in terms of the discussion. the white house also faces a challenge of pleasing conservative lawmakers who hope to release a framework next week. one white house official says president trump will be take taking on the road in what is defined tax reform plan head to go a dozen states the next few weeks. later today the president will meet with group come house democrats. the quote problem solvers caucus and seeking attention on tax reform and a way forward on daca. >> mark halpern, two of the stop stories today align perfectly of the president of the united states meeting with democrats at a dinner and republicans trying
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to to become a bipartisan solution to tax reform. then the republican story talks about how the republican party is still split on what form tax reform will take. we will repeat again the obvious. the republican party has been in the minority for seven years. the republican party has been bitching how bad the democrats are on health care and taxes. and about everything else. yet, here we are almost done with the first legislative year of the republican party, owning washington, d.c., having monopoly, and not only do they not have a health care plan, not only were they not able to repeal, bill clintobamacare, th come together on a tax reform. >> it's like a rubik cube and is difficult to solve and starts with a strong and popular
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president. in this case they don't have one sized of the rubik cube done. you talk about the treasury yesterday doing this with just republican votes through reconciliation which is not easy to do based on the budget, once you start talking about that, democrats say we are not interested in participating in a process that is aimed to lock us out. the democrats don't want any cut in the estate tax, they don't want to deal with state and local or the home mortgage. it's difficult to go on two tracks. one track is republican only try to solve the interrepublican problems and the second track is make compromises with democrats that would alienate the conservative republicans and trying to do both of those at once which they are doing now is complicated because they are not compatible. >> the republicans no are not getting a lot of democratic help out of the gait and treasury secretary steve mnuchiné o
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you can't make the numbers work on the tax rate. where does it stand among republicans in relationship with the white house in terms of tax reform and what is realistic to get through this congress? >> well, look. the white house has a little bit of an issue right now with conservative republicans. the last time that mnuchin in the room with a bunch of them he was saying if you want to vote for hurricane relief you have to raise the debtcele and a lot of them look at him you were a democratic donor how long ago? i think serious alienation going on that front. i think mark's point is right about democrats and this is, again, the president had set up this new paradigm for himself. and yesterday, sarah huckabee was saying we want tax reform but not how mitch mcconnell was proceeding. i was in back and forth with mcconnell's office yesterday on this point. mcconnell hopes the democrats will get on board with this tax reform process, but they are
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using a process in the senate that purpose fuly makes it possible or tries to do it without democratic support. the president is understandably skeptical. they tried it in health care and failed and don't want a repeat of that. >> steve, you have a coninstruct which is mitchell mcconnell and paul ryan's. we are doing a republican-only bill that not only will not get democrats on board, i'm talking political reality here and also be unpopular because it will be weighted to help corporations and to help the wealthiest in america. it just will. i'm not demagoguing this. that is is how this tax plan will be sold.
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then the construct what the president is trying to do. bring democrats in the room. maybe you get a 150 republicans in the house and maybe you get, i don't know, 70 or 80 democrats in the house. maybe you figure out how -- but you can't do both at the same time. >> you can't do both at the same time. and as we have said, they are clearly headed down the road. big six have been meeting by themselves. only republicans to craft this plan. the plan that comes out is a republican plan. i think the gap between republicans and democrats on this issue is why. you have 44 senate democrats who signed a piece of paper saying i will not vote for anything increase the deficit. yesterday, mnuchin said they would probably increase the deficit by a couple of billion dollars. they said they would not vote for anything that cuts tax on the relat wealthy. that is almost certainly coming out of here. one of the conundrums they faced
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the requisiticogniz reconciliat. you really want to try to get 60 votes in the senate to pass corporate tax reform so it's permanent. like a rubik cube they have not figured out how to get it together. >> he took it behind the scenes role for health care and outsourced most of it to congress. he has privately expressed great frustration he was led away. tax reform he feels more passionately about and something he is more familiar with. we will see if it plays out. as reported, they are considering getting him out there on the road. he did very likely little with health care. >> they didn't have anything. he could have seen that. >> right. little details of a plan now either. a suggestion they want to have him be a little more of the public face of this effort. >> what can he be the public
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face of the effort but they have to figure out which direction they are going to go. he has to either go with a republican bill that only republicans are going to support and which will lock him into the 35%. i'm just -- that's just a political reality. don't shoot me. i'm only the piano player as elton john would say. or the president's team is going to have to come up with a bipartisan bill. a bipartisan bill that he can take out from missouri and put pressure on claire mccaskill. a bipartisan bill where he can go out to west virginia and put pressure on joe manchin. where he can go to indiana and put pressure on donnelly. they have to have the product beforesa/áñ the president can g and send the product and it can't be the same product that mitchell mcconnell and paul ryan are trying to sell if they want tax reform that, as steve said, will be around 20 years from
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now. >> two was to do a quote/unquote bipartisan bill. one is a compromise with major changes in what the republican other d orthodox. i think do a bill targeted largely at the middle class but not in the cards if you do that to get the support of the freedom caucus and a lot of conservatives. they are going with gorbachev bush did as a quote/unquote, bipartisanship tax bill and pick off more democrats in the senate to get to 60. i could see them getting to 55 today. 60 is still hard but you give special tax deals to a enough senators to get enough democrats you is say this is a bipartisan bill. even that is difficult because once you start negotiating with those democratic senators you have to make public accommodations to them that will alienate a lot of republicans. the biggest split to me right now, i don't think that is what
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paul ryan and mitchell mcconnell would want. i think that is what the president does. i think after last weekend in particular the president would prefer to have nancy pelosi and chuck schumer at a signing ceremony. that central split will play out in a way that makes choosing a bath interive but i don't think they are going to choose because neither path looks anything like certain to get a bill on his desk. >> how do you pay for it? particular republicans don't want to add to this massive national debt we have. they floated the idea of eliminating the deduction for mortgage interest and eliminating the debt that corporations are paying. what is the most likely one to pluck out of there? i think orrin hatch said it's hard to pluck one out but you have to do that to get rid of it. >> he did say that. one of the ones therapy focused on is eliminating state and
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local tax reductions on the ground and people live in blue states get. look. i think the only bipartisan deal that i think i see at the moment is a small deal involving reducing the corporate tax rates of debt because they need to be we are not competitive any more and putting infrastructure which the democrats want and something to create trill i don't know those -- trillions of dollars sitting offshore. i don't think a bipartisanship agreement on a big bill. >> it would be something. still ahead, three of the senators who attended the president's bipartisanship dinner last night democrat joe manchun and thune. yes a full 5% of the upper chamber will be here this morning. first, bill karins with a check on the forecast. >> a nice quiet day across the
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country. clouds left over from irma. 80s in the northeast. summer like in the middle of the country. think of the people in florida without power. upper 80s and humid and in the low 90s. put this together to recap. august 30th that irma formed well out in the atlantic and seven days we tracked it before it hit any land. bar buddha 185 miles an hour winds. we have seen the pictures of the devastation they are headed for there. virgin islands hit hard and british virgin eyelids was hit harder. puerto rico had a million people without power but got lucky the island is 50 miles north of the mild. 140-mile-per-hour landfall category four and getting a good sense of how destroyed some of those keys were. naples tons of wind damage and a lot of tree damage and 130-mile-per-hour winds. final thing was the flooding in the jacksonville area. only a tropical storm but the
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storm surge and rainfall in the region left a lot of destruction on some of the rivers there we are still waiting for them to go on down. a lot of recovery to be had. 1 million people have power back on in florida but a lot more to go. you're watching "morning joe." we will be right back. this is not a cloud. this is a tomato tracked from farm to table on a blockchain, helping keep shoppers safe. this is a financial transaction secure from hacks and threats others can't see. this is a skyscraper whose elevators use iot data and ai to help thousands get to work safely and efficiently. this is not the cloud you know. this is the ibm cloud. the ibm cloud is the cloud for enterprise. yours. the ibm cloud is the cloud for enterprise. then there are moments it become♪ clear, together always was, and always will be, a better way. ♪
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?9q]m46:dne department of justice prosecuting james comey over what it calls improper actions during his time as fbi director. at yesterday's briefing, white house press secretary sarah huck-abee-sanders questionsed the remarks that fire of comey was the biggest mistake in modern political history.
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sanders said comey's actions justified his firing by the president. >> i think there is no secret comey, by his own self-admission, leaked privileged government information weeks before president trump fired him. comey testified that an fbi agent engaged in the same practice. his actions were improper and likely could have been illegal and leaked memos to "the new york times." he politicized an investigation signaling he would exonerate hillary clinton before he ever interviewed her or other key witnesses. he happy with the decision he made and i think he has been fully vindicated by a lot of these new things and knowing it was the right one. >> sanders added that recommending the prosecution of comey is not the president's role and that the white house is not encouraging it. jonathan, you were in the room yesterday and steve bannon saying it was the greatest political mistake in modern
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history to fire james comey and did sarah huckabee-sanders say on what charges comey would be prosecuted on? >> did chefshe have a page? >> she always has pages read. >> this she had papers in front of her and reading a statement and clearly the message they wanted to deliver. it does not specify what charges they want. james comey memos were not privileged and therefore this claim would not hold much legal water. this is something where the white house is still sticking to their guns. they are trying to vilify comey and try to discredit comey. the russian investigation keeps gathering steam. >> that must be very uncomfortable.
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>> i know, mark halpern, you are not a fan of the way james comey has conducted himself the past 18 to 24 months. is it short sided for the white house so ever mention james comey's name? bannon's comment that comey's firing was the worst political statement made in political history. aren't they helping james comey and why not let it go and let the investigation run its course? >> mueller is ae(ú;pmsuu1w0k&ú threat than comey but comey is reportedly working on a book and being investigated by the justice department and his account of what the president did and said will be part of what mueller looks at regarding object instruction of justice. i think picking fights with comey probably makes the president feel good.
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he feels he is on solid ground there. >> but firing comey made the president feel good. >> like a homer simpson move. >> it was a homer simpson move. >> he literally -- >> all i'm saying is comey is so, at this point, at this point, a much smaller threat on the president than mueller is. comey is now a threat as a witness in part of the investigation that many people close to the president feel is, in some ways, the most dangerous part of the mueller investigation. i don't think that he is any -- i don't think comey any more is the president's problem and i think this fight if it makes him feel good, is still a bad idea, but it's not the main event. >> kasie hunt, certainly it didn't make people comfortable on capitol hill. it also doesn't make fbi agents who are involved in this case feel any more kindly towards the president or those around him, does it? >> right. we have talked about how the
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bureaucracy can fight back when you team attack it and i think the president has learned that in a variety of ways. i think there are a lot of republicans on capitol hill that are privately saying prayers for bob mueller every night before they go to bed. everyone is counting on him to get to the bottom of this mess. and they want the president to stay away from mueller's investigation. they don't want to deal with these hints he might interfere with it, as we have also seen, they have strongly defended jeff sessions which i think is relevant here because this was a request to the department of justice. i think that, tipat this point, that is going to generate backlash. >> when you say this mess, exactly what do you mean? >> the mess? >> yes. >> i mean, for republicans, i mean, think about it. >> for mueller to figure out and get to the bottom of this mess. what mess are you talking about?
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>> all of the entanglements we have seen unfold from the campaign to -- if this started as an inquiry to russian meddling in the election. what the committees are investigation. mueller showed up in part because -- exclusively because the president fired the fbi director. i would define that as a mess that the republican party, quite frankly, didn't want to happen at the time. this is not something that republicans on capitol hill reacted well to that, you know, the, quote/unquote, establishment was interested in seeing happen. and it's a threat to the party overall. it's a threat electorally and to russia is doing is getting shoved aside by the plolitickin going on by the white house. marco rubio is focused on this we have to figure out how it deal with this threat. i think is there a fundamental patriotic motive among the best
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of our leaders in both parties around this topic and considering the way the president has handled it, it's made it difficult to see that through all of the smoke. >> right. of course, the firing of james comey. but, specifically, the firing of james comey while admitting to lesser hope and admitting to the russian ambassador he fired james comey to kill the russia investigation. that is what that mess would be. republicans a little -- >> that is a big homer simpson move. congress is forcing the president's hand unequivocally. the night before rejects, quote, white nationalists and white supremacist and the ku klux klan and urges the president and the
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president's cabinet to use all available resources to address the threat posed by those groups. the legislation, which now awaits the president's signature, comes after his much criticized response to the deadly charlottesville violence which he blamed on both sides and said, quote, some very fine people were among the white supremacist protesters. meanwhile, the president is set to meet today with tim scott of south carolina, the senate's only african-american republican, to discuss racial issues. >> pretty shrewd political move. democrats put that literal on the desk of the president saying do you condemn what happened? do you condemn the people in charlottesville and if you do, sign it. if he doesn't sign it up it opens it up. >> as they were beginning to fade from the headlines. it is back. not going to be lost amid the hurricanes or not lost amid of push of tax reform but suggest we want you one more time to say this. and it's also tim scott meeting
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today, they perhaps with timing is also striking. he's a republican the only african-american republican in the senate who strongly condemned the president's response and suggesting he did not have the meral leadership to lead the republican. if you cannot condemn kkk. >> we don't believe in resets and we don't believe in pivots around here as it pertains to this president. but if we did this would be a wonderful opportunity to bring in tim scott and listen to him a young man growing up but as an older united states senator even in the halls of congress. you have this meeting. you also have an opportunity to sign a bill and actually as president of the united states, use your bully pulpit and use the rose garden to underline it, highlight it, circle it and say i'm on this side.
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i'm with congress. >> as we know we have a president who never apologizes and says he never made a mistake. i can't imagine he is not signing this. you may get a miniversion or what he said that he uses this as a moment to walk back some of the worse of what he has done and set more positive tone going forward on this issue. >> you can't imagine him not signing it. this is a total different president. says over and over again how many times do you want me to apologize? i've condemned. why do i have to do it again? he should but how? >> the solution of congress saying we condemn -- >> he is also repeatedly defended his original statement on charlottesville. he believes he addressed it then. he didn't like pushed into the second statement at the white house. >> then he snapped and did a third that went unhinged. >> mark halpern, look over the
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past week. week and a half. no reset, no priivot. this has gone from a category five presidency to perhaps category two or three presidency. i imagine it hard he would whip these waters back up after striking a deal with chuck schumer and nancy pelosi and talking to democrats and trying to get tax reform done and move forward. and getting a lot of people who were more disruptive and keeping them at 33, 34, 35%, the polls, getting them out of the white house. >> lets go back to hall better than's first rule of succeeding in national politics. >> yes. >> which is controlling your public image. defining yourself every day the way you want to be charge

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